Predator-Prey Beetles Game

Summary: In this lesson, students play a simulated board game of Clerid Beetle vs Mountain Pine Beetle. This game and graphing activity is a fun way to represent the predator prey model showing how each population responds to the other.

Learning Goals:

After completing this activity, students will be able to understand:


  • Predators (species A) are animals that prey (hunt, kills, eats) other animals (species B). Species A will benefit by feeding on species B.

  • The Predator/Prey model aka Lotka-Volterra model is based on an equation that describes interactions between two (predator and a prey) species in an ecosystem.

  • The Predator/Prey model reveals that the population size of the predator oscillates with the population size of the prey creating.

  • When population numbers of the predator and prey are graphed over time the graph show:

o As prey population increases, this is followed by the predator population increasing.
o Prey numbers will decrease as predator numbers increase
o Predator numbers will decrease as prey numbers decrease
o Prey will then begin to increase and the cycle starts over

Grades: 6-12


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